Ruth Stout, 1918-2008
Ruth Helen Cleone Stout (Shelton) was born in Marion County, Oregon Dec. 9, 1918. In her own words, she was born “on a farm, by a creek, in a one-way-roof log cabin.”
At the age of 10 she moved to Canada with her family and settled in the Heart River community north of High Prairie. They homesteaded next to the Stout family who had moved up from Oregon the year before.
There were no schools in the area at the time so the girls learned housework: how to cook sew and make bread at an early age. When Ruth was 17, her sister Mildred passed away, leaving a husband and three young children. Her domestic skills were put to good use as she helped to look after the little ones. On Feb. 18, 1940, at age 21, she married Sam Stout, Mildred’s widower, and became the children’s mother. Emma was eight years old, Glenn was six and little Vina was four. She took to mothering the children with open arms by washing, mending and cooking without complaint. She worked hard at raising and teaching her new family.
The family soon grew to four children, as Warren was born exactly nine months after the wedding. Danny Johnson joined the family in 1950 and daughter Wilma was born in 1957. Daughter Bonnie followed in 1961 giving them a total of seven children. Through the years, their mother was their anchor, a shoulder to cry on and a guiding light in their lives.
Ruth was always supportive of her husband. Side-by-side, they faced hardships and successes. Once, when Sam took a job operating a bulldozer, Ruth went along as the camp cook. She even learned to operate the cat in case Sam needed her to pull the service truck so he could get it started.
If you knew Sam and Ruth, you knew that they were always together. Wherever Sam went for work, Ruth and the family followed. From Heart River to Gilwood, to High Prairie, to Canmore and back to High Prairie. The children were growing and making lives of their own. With just the three youngest at home, they moved to Edmonton. Again, Ruth worked side-by-side with her husband when she, too, took a job at the Evangelical Tract printing.
After 13 years in Edmonton, and at the ages of 62 and 56, they moved back to High Prairie to a homestead they had purchased three years earlier. It seems clearing land and raising cattle was their idea of slowing down. Along with Wilma and Bonnie, she and Sam worked side by side while they built their house, picked rocks, tended garden and cared for animals.
Ruth was always a quiet lady with a heart full of love. She would never say anything bad about anyone. If there was ever a disagreement, she would just carry on with what she was doing, and maybe at some later time mention her opinion.
Because she was such a quiet lady - some would even say shy - most people didn’t really get to know her well. Her favourite color was blue, her favourite flowers were roses and pansies, and her hobby was collecting salt and pepper shakers. If you ever were to visit their little house south of town, you would have seen countless sets of salt and pepper shakers overflowing specially built shelves and filling every nook and cranny. She had over 500 sets in all.
But most of all, Ruth loved her family. Whether they were her children, stepchildren, or adopted children; whether they were her many grandchildren, step-grandchildren, or adopted grandchildren, she loved them all.
Toward the end, she mostly slept all day, but when her little great-great granddaughters were brought to her bedside, she smiled a big smile and her face lit up more than it had in a long while.
Ruth’s love for her family was only surpassed by her love for Sam and the Lord. Sam and Ruth were always God-fearing people and their faith carried them through bad times and good without wavering. Side-by-side, they worshipped. Hand-in-hand they walked.
Ruth is survived by: daughter Emma Williscroft and friend Trevor Morgan; daughter Vina Smith; daughter-in-law Francis Stout; son Warren and wife Gwen Stout; son Danny and wife Lyn Johnson; daughter Wilma and husband Dennis McDermott; daughter Bonnie and husband Matt Neufeld; 31 grandchildren; 56 great-grandchildren; 24 great-great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law Isaac Stout and Isaiah Stout; sister-in-law Marie Stout; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ruth was predeceased by: her loving husband, Sam; her parents, Adelbert and Alice Shelton; her sisters Mable, Mildred, Iris, and Etoil; her brothers Orval Shelton, Rolland Shelton and John Shelton; her son, Glenn Stout; as well as sons-in-law Swede Williscroft and Jim Smith.
Surrounded by her loving family, six months to the day of Sam’s death, she left us quietly in her sleep, to be with her Lord, and her husband and soulmate of 67 years. Holding hands again, as they always did, forever together.
Ruth will be greatly missed and forever loved by her family.
Copyright © 1999-2005 South Peace News. All Rights Reserved.
No part may be reproduced without written permission.
View our Privacy Statement.
Send website suggestions to the Webmaster